Sixty three years long ago Jawaharlal Nehru said, “Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom”.
Happy Independence Day to all of you who are celebrating it, like me. Today we celebrate our 64th Independence Day. I was born after Independence and never experienced the struggle, but know of it from those who saw it or felt it in some measure. While it takes a lack of freedom to truly appreciate it, it only needs one to realise how much of our world is still not free to be thankful for what we do have.
Like I did last year, I thought I would add to the Independence Day celebrations with colours of the Indian flag and freedom. I decided to go savoury this time. Since we usually have rice for lunch, this meant rice in the hues of saffron, white and green.
This particular rice preparation is inspired by one of my good friends. Her husband and mine were friends long before I got married, so this is a friendship of very long standing. One of the dinners we had at their place (this particular one was 14 years back!) was on Independence Day and my friend had made a rice dish in the colours of the Indian flag. She had served the rice as a single dish from which we all helped ourselves.
I made today’s lunch as single serves as I thought it would be nice for each one of us to get their own little neatly coloured and layered mound of rice. This means a little more work, but as this dish doesn’t really need much effort to cook up, that was alright with me.
Feel free to choose how you would like to present and serve this rice. It really does not matter as it tastes good whichever way.
One of the few things I do not make at home is sambhar powder. For a long time, after I got married, my mother used to send me this in bulk. Later I got her recipe for it, but no matter how strictly I followed the recipe, I could never get the same taste so I gave up trying.
I usually make sambhar making the spice paste from scratch. On the rare occasions I do need to use sambhar powder, I use a store bought brand which is a lot like the one my mothe rused to make. There are a lot of store bought sambhar powders which contain a lot of ingredients that a sambhar would traditionally not use, so beware. If you should want to make your own sambhar powder, here is a recipe which is a bit like what we usually make in our homes.